GoJIL Vol. 3, No. 2 (2011)
A System of Collective Defense of Democracy: the Case of the Inter-American Democratic Charter
In the years that followed the end of the Cold War, the international community showed a growing interest in the democratic legitimacy of governments. With regard to the Western Hemisphere, the Organization of American States has been particularly pioneering in this respect, since it initiated a mechanism of intervention by peaceful means, once the democratic stability in a state was threatened, a process which culminated with the approval of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
The present article will evaluate the developments on democratization at the universal and regional level with particular focus on the Americas, as well as studying the effectiveness of the Inter-American Democratic Charter using as case study the constitutional turmoil in Honduras (2009) and will purport to formulate suggestions for other international institutions building on OAS best practices. The protection, promotion, consolidation, and ultimately the collective defense of democracy as an important feature of the OAS could serve as a helpful paradigm for other regional institutions as well as for the United Nations in conflict prevention and in the operationalization of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.
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